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Bolin Bolin Billabong, located next to the Yarra River in Bulleen, is one of the few remaining billabongs in Melbourne. It used to have such a large eel population that it was able to sustain up to 500 Wurundjeri people over summer. The billabong is highly valued for ecological, cultural and liveability attributes.

Today paints a different picture, with the Bolin Bolin Billabong under threat due to changes in river flows from the Yarra River, reducing the frequency of water flowing into the billabong. But thanks in part to water for the environment, the billabong’s future looks brighter.

In October 2017, Wurundjeri Council held a ceremony to realise the long-heldgoal of delivering water into the billabong – the first time it had received water in many years.

The environmental response was also immediate – and loud! Frogs found the watering just to their liking, with the calls of four different species filling the evening air.

Monitoring of water levels and vegetation response is currently underway and a long-term solution is being finalised. Rehabilitation work has also been undertaken to complement the watering including pruning
hazardous trees, weed control and revegetation with native plants.

The long-term vision is to improve the health of the billabong by providing a more natural wetting and drying regime for the billabong in partnership with key stakeholders. Restoration of Bolin Bolin is pivotal, as the centre of a significant cultural riverscape that is a significant place of gathering and reinvigorated cultural practice for Wurundjeri.

Water released into Bolin Bolin Billabong

Water released into Bolin Bolin Billabong, by Sarina Loo, VEWH